Around 180 million viewers world wide sit down to watch the annual Eurovision Song Contest.
Next year, the show is set to be held in Tel Aviv, Israel, a widely controversial location due to the country’s ongoing conflict with Palestine.
You’re coming at a time when Israel is a rising power in the world, you know, in cyber, in IT, in water, in judo, in singing.
You know what we say: Those who didn’t want Jerusalem in the #Eurovision are going to get the Eurovision in Jerusalem.
Next year in Jerusalem!
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) May 13, 2018
On Saturday 1 December, a protest at Media City in Salford Quays has been organised with the aim to persuade the BBC not to televise the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest.
The protest – which will be held outside BBC Studios – has been organised by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign Manchester, Manchester Palestine Action and Manchester Jewish Action for Palestine.
An organiser of the event, Adie Mormech, said: “We are asking the BBC not to broadcast the Eurovision song contest in Israel and to push for coverage of the Palestinian.
“I was a teacher at a university in Gaza for two years.
“I saw the bombing of 2012 up close and two of my students were killed in the bombing of Gaza that killed 2200 people in 50 days including 500 children. One of them had her whole family wiped out including her 2 young children.”
During the protest there will be a native Palestinian Dabke performance from the Hawiyya dance company. The aim of this performance is to highlight the culture and identity of Palestinian people that we may not always have the opportunity to see.
The Eurovision song contest has previously been criticised by many UK viewers for the show being ‘too political’ according to Statista: The Statistics Portal. Up to 60 per cent of viewers in the UK hold this view, and this figure may rise due to the 2019 competition location.
Mr Mormech said: “Many musicians are heading the call for cultural boycott. Recently singers Shakira, Lorde and Lana del Rey have all heeded the call for boycott until Palestinians have the same rights as anyone else.”
Last year’s contest saw the win of Israel’s Netta who performed the song ‘Toy’. Just days after her win, more violence in Palestine ensued as 62 people were killed by the Israeli Defence Force, including six children.
Mr Mormech went on to say: “As the UK’s primary broadcaster, the BBC has an ethical responsibility to not help Israel artwash serious crimes of this nature.”
Find more information about the protest at Salford Quays here